We recently announced that we successfully passed our CSR Performance Ladder audit after obtaining this CSR certification in 2017. In this article, we will delve a little bit deeper into our sustainability initiatives to give you a better glimpse of our activities in this area. We hope they give you ideas to apply at your own organisation!
CSR starts in the office
At Visma Connect, corporate social responsibility starts with responsible purchasing. Part of having a formal commitment to sustainability means buying only what we really need. But as any company knows, sometimes things need to be replaced. How can we make sure our office supplies and furniture are more sustainable? Our facilities and CSR team set out to answer this question. The idea to buy only second-hand furniture came up. This made for an interesting challenge. The furniture should, of course, not be subpar in terms of quality. We looked around and found that it was actually very achievable. Many of our desks and meeting room equipment have been pre-owned.
Monitors are another asset that got our focus, as they use up a lot of energy. Since 2019, we purchase monitors with the best energy certification and the longest life span. When they no longer work, we make sure they get properly recycled. Employees can also request a monitor for use at home - something that’s especially handy with the restrictions imposed amidst COVID-19.
Services for improved sustainability reporting
Visma Connect is the world’s foremost supplier of taxonomies and reporting portals, and a leader in the design and implementation of Standard Business Reporting. Today, we apply this knowledge in the field of sustainability reporting as well.
Unlike financial information, sustainability reporting data is often not stored and organised in a systematic way. Even for relatively small companies, creating a sustainability report can take weeks. Lack of standardisation and ambiguous definitions make it very hard to benchmark and quantify the progress that companies make. To address this challenge, Visma Connect created the world’s first modular platform for preparing, submitting, processing and benchmarking sustainability reports in a uniform and standardised way, based on the GRI framework and the UN Sustainability Goals.
Just as we are happy to give other people’s furniture a second life, we are happy to donate equipment we no longer use. But we didn’t want to just donate computers so they could be dismantled for parts. That’s why we chose Ecoware as our partner. Located in Zoetermeer, a bike ride away from our office, this organisation provides education and skills training for people who have difficulties entering the job market. Since 2014, we have donated our unused computers and monitors to Ecoware for use in their training programs. Ecoware teaches students to repair the equipment and develop technician skills. Once they fix them, they donate or sell these computers, for a very small fee, to families in need. Ecoware also uses our computers for students to submit their job applications. When computers cannot be repaired, we ensure they are properly recycled instead.
Stay tuned for more learnings on sustainability and the circular economy!